Director Ravikanth Perepu’s “Bubblegum” takes a refreshing bite out of the typical Telugu rom-com, offering a nuanced and honest portrayal of young love grappling with class differences, societal expectations, and the messy realities of life. Forget the candyfloss sweetness; this film is a bittersweet treat that lingers long after the credits roll.
The story unfolds through the eyes of Adi (played with raw intensity by Roshan Kanakala), an aspiring DJ from Hyderabad’s bustling Old City. Dreams of Tomorrowland collide with the harsh realities of his lower-middle-class background, leaving him perpetually straddling two worlds. Enter Jahnvi (the charming Maanasa Chaudhary), a globe-trotting socialite with a world of experiences far removed from Adi’s.
Image: A split-screen image capturing the contrasting worlds of Adi and Jahnvi. On one side, Adi rides his bike amidst the crowded alleys of Old City, while Jahnvi sips coffee in a chic cafe, highlighting the socioeconomic divide.
Perepu skillfully avoids painting Jahnvi as the one-dimensional “rich girl” stereotype. We see her insecurities and vulnerabilities, her own internal struggles as she navigates a life seemingly perfect from the outside. The film acknowledges the complexities of their situations, the awkwardness and challenges of bridging the gap between their vastly different worlds.
Visually, “Bubblegum” is a symphony of color and energy. Vibrant cityscapes pulsate with the rhythm of youthful romance, captured in dynamic frames that burst with life. Sricharan Pakala’s music adds a layer of playful charm, amplifying the film’s overall musicality.
While the character development and plot twists in the latter half of the film might occasionally stray towards melodrama, the performances by Kanakala and Chaudhary hold everything together. Their raw chemistry and genuine portrayal of love’s emotional rollercoaster are the heart and soul of the film. The supporting cast, including Jayram Eshwar’s endearing portrayal of Adi’s father, inject warmth and humor, reminding us of the complexities of family and social circles that shape our relationships.
Ultimately, “Bubblegum” is a refreshing take on modern love. It’s not afraid to get messy, to delve into the uncertainties and struggles faced by young couples navigating societal norms and personal aspirations. It’s a film that stays with you, leaving you pondering the question: in the face of societal barriers and individual uncertainties, can love truly conquer all?
If you’re looking for a Telugu film that breaks the mold, offering a realistic and thought-provoking look at young love in the City of Pearls, then “Bubblegum” is definitely worth a watch. Just remember, this isn’t your typical sugary rom-com; it’s a bittersweet treat that will leave you with a lot to think about, long after the last bubble pops.